Ex-planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia addressing the gathering at Khushwant Singh LitFest at Kasauli on Friday(ANIL DAYAL/HT)
Ex-planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia addressing the gathering at Khushwant Singh LitFest at Kasauli on Friday(ANIL DAYAL/HT)

Kashmir, Dylan, censorship hog limelight

Sleepy Kasauli town reverberated with the sights and sounds of authors, intellectuals and actors as the three-day Khushwant Singh Literature Festival-2016 got underway on Friday.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondents, Kasauli
UPDATED ON OCT 15, 2016 06:06 PM IST

Sleepy Kasauli town reverberated with the sights and sounds of authors, intellectuals and actors as the three-day Khushwant Singh Literature Festival-2016 got underway on Friday.

Apart from a number of panel discussions, the day also saw Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh declaring the Khushwant Singh trail open.

One of the highlights of the day was the panel consisting of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, author and journalist Rahul Pandita and author and historian Dilip Simeon talking about the crisis in Kashmir with the topic being “Kashmir: Cry the Beloved Country.”

Women taking selfie with former jaamu and kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah. (ANIL DAYAL/HT)
Women taking selfie with former jaamu and kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah. (ANIL DAYAL/HT)

Abdullah said that the need to recognise Kashmir as a political problem is a pre-requisite to finding answers.

“There is a need to first accept that Kashmir is a political problem. Only then can solutions be found,” said Abdullah.

BENEGAL ROOTS FOR ‘RESTRICTIVE VIEWING’

Film-maker Shyam Benegal at one of the sessions. (ANIL DAYAL/HT)
Film-maker Shyam Benegal at one of the sessions. (ANIL DAYAL/HT)

Noted filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who headed the panel that worked on the functioning of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), said there was a need to review its working. “Instead of focusing on using the scissors on films, we should look at the possibility of encouraging restrictive viewing. Instead of having only two three categories of ‘U’ and ‘A’, we should have categories like ‘A with caution’ for films that have too much of let’s say explicit sex or violence,” he said to HT on the sidelights of the fest.

THUMBS UP TO NOBEL IN FOR BOB DYLAN

The galaxy of writers and film makers at the festival welcomed the Nobel for songwriter and singer Bob Dylan. “It is the most civilised thing that has happened. Rather than giving it to writers whom you have never read until they get the prestigious award, here you have sung to the man’s lyrics,” said Suhel Seth.

Khushwant Singh, the author of ‘Punjabi by Nature’ said “creativity has triumphed here, instead of being restricted to certain pre-conditions.

Punjab governor and Chandigarh administrator VP Singh Badnore and Congress leader Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi having a conversation on Day One of the Khushwant Singh Literature festival in Kasauli on Friday. (ANIL DAYAL/HT)
Punjab governor and Chandigarh administrator VP Singh Badnore and Congress leader Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi having a conversation on Day One of the Khushwant Singh Literature festival in Kasauli on Friday. (ANIL DAYAL/HT)
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